The Hawkmans (I know Carter calls them Hawkmen... the proper pluralization is still Hawkmans) take to the skies in the final conflict with the Deathbringers and their hordes while Carter takes on Idamm one on one, with the fate of all life on Earth at stake!
Carter proceeds to savagely tear Idamm apart, the Hawkmans destroy the remaining Deathbringers one by one.
In the end, Idamm is defeated and Earth is saved, bringing Carter face to face with his original incarnation, Ktar. The two discuss the weight of Carter's destiny before Ktar grants Carter the memories of all past Hawkmans to help him in the new chapter that is unfolding in the wake of "Cataclysm."
This issue marks the end of an era for Hawkman, being the end of the second major arc and also heralding the departure of the magnificent Bryan Hitch from the series. Hitch’s work over the past year is among the finest of his illustrious career and this issue was no exception. He’ll certainly be missed but I have faith that Hawkman, under Venditti’s guidance, will continue to be among the truly elite books being published by DC right now.
In some ways, the conclusion to this arc was a bit anti-climactic. With all of the buildup to reorganizing Carter’s origins and his quest through space and time to discover his role in the current events ends with a somewhat predictable show of force, triumphing over the enemy, and saving the planet.
In many ways, this arc was not about the victory but about the knowledge gained. With Carter absorbing all of his past lives, he now has access to the memories of those lives. This perfectly establishes a new era for Hawkman in a number of ways, but chief among them seems to be the trauma of having all of these new memories, the good and the bad, thrust upon him at once. There is no doubt that the traumas of multiple lifetimes will be harmful on multiple levels for Carter, even as those traumas may serve to make him stronger for whatever the future may hold. Adding this sort of depth to the character is exactly what one would expect from a writer like Venditti, who in many ways is devout supplicant to the past as he looks towards the future.
The "Cataclysm" arc of Hawkman ends with #12 and brings with it major changes to the status quo. Run, don't walk, and pick up your copy of Hawkman #12 today!
Hawkman #12: Yesterday is History, But Tomorrow’s a Mystery
Writing - 8/10
Storyline - 8/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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